A Glance on the Varying Climate of Spain

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Mainland Spain is surrounded by mountain ranges and high plateaus. Alluvial plains are found on many coasts such as the Guadalquivir in Andalusia. The geographical location as well as the orographic conditions of Spain made its climate particularly diverse. Some regions can very cold during the winter and extremely hot in the summers. The climate of Spain can be generally categorized according to 3 groups – Continental, Mediterranean, and Oceanic.

Modest continental atmosphere is experienced in inland areas of the Peninsula such as the city of Madrid. During this period, winter temperatures are cold enough to hold up a fixed period of snow cover every year. A Mediterranean climate is characterized by dry, hot summers and wet, cool winters. It is similar to the weathers of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin. This type of climate generally extends from the Andalusian plain down the eastern and southern coasts up to the Pyrenees. An oceanic climate, also called maritime climate or marine west coast climate, exists in the autonomous community of Galicia and the coastal area by the Bay of Biscay. This type of climate has a more limited annual range of temperatures and does not include the very dry summers of Mediterranean climates.

For travelers and people who are not quite familiar with Spain’s varying weather, I suggest checking the general climate of the city you are going to visit. Regardless of your agenda and itineraries, it is a good idea to outline your line of activities first before heading the city. Summer, winter, fall and spring in each major city vary significantly. Below are few weather advisories for major cities in Spain:

Madrid The best time to visit the city of Madrid is during spring and fall when the weather is moderate. Its winter is terribly cold with temperatures of at least 2°C (35°F) during the months of December to February and summer heat can make your trip unpleasant with high temperature averaging 29°C (84°F) from June to September.

Barcelona If you intent to take a trip to Barcelona do take note that it has warm summers, gentle winters, and irregular rains during spring, winter and fall. Its hottest months are from July to August. Temperatures range between 20°C (68°F) and 30°C (86°F). Wet periods are between September and October. The months of January until February provide the coldest time of the year.

Valencia The city of Valencia enjoys a gentle and lovely weather throughout the year with summers and winters you can really enjoy. Its hottest month is August with temperature reaching an average of 25.5°C (78°F). The month of January has the coldest ambiance with an average of 11.5°C (53°F). However, its fall season may bring heavy rains.

Bilbao Like Valencia, Bilbao has also an almost perfect weather all year around. Summers have an average of 20°C (68°F) and winters typically have 8°C (46°F). Extreme rains are mostly experienced during the months October to December and from April to May.